It is a truth universally acknowledged that packing is a pain. No matter how much we travel, we agonize over what to bring and how best to maximize space in our luggage. Cruise packing is especially frustrating because even if we want to pack light, we end up needing 12 different outfits each day ... and an equal number of shoes. On no other vacation, do you find yourself bringing over-the-door shoe bags, snorkel equipment, tuxedoes, fleece jackets, highlighters and large floppy sun hats on the same trip. It's a packing nightmare.
. Keeping Your Outfits Sorted
2. Getting the Creases Out
3. Tangled and Loose Jewelry
Solution: You take out your jewelry on the first formal night, and it's all tangled in one large, sparkly ball. With so many jewelry-separating packing hacks out there, you'll never have to spend time in your cruise cabin untangling your necklaces or digging around at the bottom of your bag for the other earring. Earrings can be threaded through buttons or separated out in pill containers that have a compartment for each weekday. Keep thin necklaces from tangling by threading them through a cut-in-half drinking straw and then clasping them closed, or by taping them to an index card. Other tricks to keeping small pieces of jewelry separated include storing items in egg cartons, Altoid cases and Tik-Tak boxes.
4. Wallet Doesn't Fit in Travel Bag
5. Dirty Shoes
6. Exploding (or Leaking) Liquids
Solution: Forget dirt -- what you really don't want all over your new maxi dress and Bermuda shorts is sunscreen, shampoo or shaving cream. You can easily hack your way to preventing liquid travel products from leaking. The easiest method is to cut a square of plastic wrap, place it over the open top of the bottle, then screw the cap on over the plastic square. Put some tape over the top to be safe and -- voila! -- spill-proof bottles. Or, if you don't need the whole bottle, decant your lotions and creams into smaller containers; think contact lens cases and pill bottles with childproof caps. You've then got a space-saving and spill-proof way of transporting toiletries. Another solution that does double duty is to storing your bottles in Tupperware. Once the containers have done their job keeping your clothes safe from spills, you can wash them out and use them to carry out food from the buffet.
7. Fitting (Lots of?) Shoes Into Luggage
8. Packing Bulky Items
9. Keeping Wine Safe
Solution: Most cruise lines let passengers bring one or more bottles of wine onboard. But packing a bottle in your checked bags means risking a messy break and spill. Our favorite bottle protection hack is to save up bubble wrap and then fashion a protective case for your bottle. (Bonus: If you don't plan to bring home any local wine for a souvenir, you can while away an hour on your balcony happily popping the bubbles.) We've also heard of inserting wine bottles in pool floaties and sneakers (yet another shoe hack -- see above).